The price is always a major factor when considering any type of body armor. But as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. A cheaper price tag isn’t always the best thing.
Defense industry experts are questioning whether SOCOM may have added to the risk by searching for the lightest plates possible. The lightweight, ceramic plates have proven to be effective at stopping enemy rifle bullets and weigh significantly less than the conventional Army’s Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert, or ESAPI.
The harsh environment and temperatures in Iraq and Afghanistan made supplementary field tests unable to be completed. A rough estimate of a few million U.S. Army troops was forced to use the body armor in trial-by-fire setups.The U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General confirms that the Army did not suitably test body armor before sending it out into the battlefield. The Associated Press reports that more than 5.1 million pieces of body armor were rushed into action at a cost of $2.5 billion. Secondly, defense contracts awarded between 2004 and 2006 for ballistic inserts were found to include either defective body armor plates or plates that were ill-equipped for battle.
Concerned Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter played a role on how the body armor industry in scrutinized. Multiple IG investigations of body armor effectiveness have been conducted since November 2006. Manysoldiers in Iraq who sustained upper body injuries died because of defective body armor plates.The Justice Department has filed a multimillion-dollarlawsuit against several body armor manufacturers, accusing the company and its president of ignoring warnings that their vests were breaking down and endangering the lives of thousands of federal, state and local police officers.
The prices on body armor always will vary in different jurisdictions. The higher the rating on a particular item, then generally the higher the price will be. Sometimes a particular item that has been refurbished will be cheaper than ones that have never been used.